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Robin Tasco v. International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers

February 8, 2013

ROBIN TASCO,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF ELECTRICAL WORKERS, LOCAL #98 DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Eduardo C. Robreno, J.

MEMORANDUM

Robin Tasco ("Plaintiff") brings this action against her former employer, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local No. 98 ("Defendant"), for unlawful gender and race discrimination and retaliation in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended ("Title VII"), 42 U.S.C. § 1981, and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act ("PHRA"), 43 P.S. §§ 951-963. Plaintiff filed her complaint on February 28, 2011, and her amended complaint on June 6, 2011. See Compl., ECF No. 1; Am. Compl., ECF No. 7. Defendant moves for summary judgment. This motion is now ripe for disposition.

I.BACKGROUND*fn1

Plaintiff is an African American female. Am. Compl. ¶ 16. She was employed by Defendant, as a business agent, from February 2001 until March 2009. Id. ¶ 17. Plaintiff's son, Frank Clark, was also employed by Defendant. Id. ¶ 18. Mr. Clark applied for an apprenticeship program and was rejected for allegedly failing an exam. Id. ¶ 19. Mr. Clark was fired shortly afterwards. Id. ¶ 20. He filed an EEOC complaint for race discrimination in or about July 2008. Id. ¶ 21. The complaint was sent to Defendant's Business Manager, John Dougherty. Id. ¶

22. Upon receiving the complaint, according to Plaintiff, Mr. Dougherty "indicated to [her] that he would retaliate against anyone and everyone who 'does this to me' (meaning file a complaint) and stated that he could not 'have them on my team.'" Id. ¶ 23.

Plaintiff alleges that as a direct consequence of her son's EEOC complaint, her employment as a business agent with Defendant was terminated. Id. ¶ 24. She claims that though Defendant's proffered reason for her layoff was an economic downturn, this was only pretextual. Id. ¶¶ 25, 29. In Plaintiff's complaint, she states that she was "the only business agent singled out for the so-called 'layoff.'" Id. ¶ 26.

On or about April 13, 2009, Plaintiff filed a charge of discrimination against Defendant with the EEOC. Id. ¶ 13(a). The charge was cross filed with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission. Id. ¶ 13(b). The EEOC issued a Notice of the Right to Sue on June 2, 2010. Id. ¶ 13(c). Plaintiff now brings the following four counts against Defendant:

Count I: Title VII Race/Gender Discrimination; Count II: Title VII Retaliation;

Count III: Violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1981; and Count IV: Violation of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act.

II.LEGAL STANDARD: SUMMARY JUDGMENT

Summary judgment is appropriate if there are no genuine disputes as to any material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(a). "A motion for summary judgment will not be defeated by 'the mere existence' of some disputed facts, but will be denied when there is a genuine issue of material fact." Am. Eagle Outfitters v. Lyle & Scott Ltd., 584 F.3d 575, 581 (3d Cir. 2009) (quoting Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 247--48 (1986)). A fact is "material" if proof of its existence or nonexistence might affect the outcome of the litigation, and a dispute is "genuine" if "the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party." Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248.

The Court will view the facts in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. "After making all reasonable inferences in the nonmoving party's favor, there is a genuine issue of material fact if a reasonable jury could find for the nonmoving party." Pignataro v. Port Auth. of N.Y. & N.J., 593 F.3d 265, 268 (3d Cir. 2010). While the moving party bears the initial burden of showing the absence of a genuine issue of material fact, meeting this obligation shifts the burden to the nonmoving party who must "set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial." Anderson, 477 U.S. at 250.

III.DISCUSSION

Defendant moves for summary judgment on all of Plaintiff's claims. Mot. Summ. J. 1. Below, the Court considers Plaintiff's discrimination ...


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